Organization Name: Associated Blind HDFC
Project Title: Selis Manor
Project Location: 135 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)
A resident in place renovation revived this 205-unit special needs housing and community facility space that serves the blind and visually impaired. Apartments were given new finishes and layouts to improve livability and accessibility, and amenities now include a laundry room that opens onto a landscaped rear yard, a multi-purpose room, and outdoor recreational roof terrace. To improve sustainability and energy performance, new MEP systems and controls were installed, sunshades were added, kitchen appliances were replaced with efficient models, bathroom fixtures were replaced for water conservation, windows were changed, window AC’s were removed and new PTAC’s for cooling, with audio thermostat controls were added. A redesigned 1st floor enhances service capacity, alleviating traffic at the main entrance. The new scheme created separate entrances for residents and clients of the service center, and reconfigured housing management offices and the Visions Community Facility offices and classrooms. Adding an open stair and elevator between the 1st floor and service activities in the cellar aids circulation and a new material lift for trash removal enabled a restoration of the rear courtyard.
Selis Manor provides housing for a population that is blind and physically disabled and offers support services and design interventions that make the daily experiences of those residents easier. The building also welcomes the wider blind and vision impaired community through Visions, a rehabilitation and social service organization which offers a variety of programs to youth and adults, helping them lead independent and active lives. The Visions space on the ground level and lower floor was also renovated as part of this project and now includes a refurbished gym, bowling alley, arts room (with a kiln), activity rooms for chair yoga and group meetings, library specifically for the blind, computer room, assembly room with a stage, and snack room, as well as offices to meet with individuals for counseling.
Associated Blind HDFC provides affordable housing to blind and low-income individuals.
Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP); Associated Blind HDFC; Architecture for the Blind; Nash Associates; EME Group; M. Paul Friedberg & Partners; Procida Construction Corp